Hong Ling. Snow Dome, 2000. Collection of the artist. © Hong Ling. Courtesy Soka Art.
DUBLIN.- The Chester Beatty Library presents Ireland’s first exhibition by one of China’s leading contemporary landscape painters, Hong Ling (b.1955). This retrospective exhibition charts the significant contribution Hong Ling has made to the world of Chinese landscape painting. Sixteen paintings in oil and in ink will be exhibited, ranging from a small painting of poplar trees in the grounds of the ‘Temple of Heaven’ painted while Hong Ling was a student in 1979, just after the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), to the rich and immersive ‘Rainbow-Like of 2015' that stands two metres high and three metres wide—its dramatic scale matched by its vibrant use of colour.
Hong Ling trained as an oil painter and he is best known for his technically rich canvases in this imported medium. While he finds inspiration in the work of European painters, his own practice has come to engage deeply with the philosophies of China’s landscape painting traditions, capturing the essence of the landscape rather than its likeness. In the early 1990s, Hong Ling built his studio in the foothills of the Yellow Mountains of China’s Anhui Province, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has long inspired painters of landscape. Hong Ling reveals the charged atmosphere of this dramatic location and his paintings tell the story of an artist’s personal development against the backdrop of intense changes that have transformed life in China over the last 50 years.
Hong Ling. Drunk in Frozen Forest, 2011. Private Collection. © Hong Ling. Courtesy Soka Art.
Chester Beatty Library Director, Fionnuala Croke said the Library is unique among Irish museums for its holdings of Asian art, and the potential these collections create for developing relationships between Ireland and Asia. 'This exhibition will give visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy China’s rich and dynamic landscape traditions through paintings of exquisite beauty.’ The exhibition is curated by Dr Mary Redfern, Curator of the Library’s East Asian Collection.
The Hong Ling exhibition at Chester Beatty Library is part of a touring retrospective sponsored by UNEEC Culture and Education Foundation, Taiwan, and organised with the artist’s gallery, Soka Art, and SOAS University of London. The exhibition will be complemented by a programme of public events including lectures and workshops.
Hong Ling. Rainbow-like, 2015, Private collection © Hong Ling. Courtesy Soka Art.